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suggestions for bags "not just for cameras"

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Ritualnet, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. Ritualnet

    Ritualnet Mu-43 Regular

    78
    Jun 21, 2012
    UK - West Midlands
    Seem
    I'm looking for a bag that will hold my camera but also carry all the other bits I carry.

    So... I'm looking at a bag with the following specs:

    1. Sling style messenger or backpack (although backpacks are a bit dangerous as people can rummage in your stuff behind you)
    2. Room to carry the GF1/20mm lens inside the panny full case, tablet and/or my alphasmart neo 2, wallet, keys, mini med-pack, a book or kindle, and some space to drop things in if need be.
    3. Costs under £50, preferably a lot less
    4. Light yet decent construction, I've had bags fall apart on me, I don't want it to happen when I have a camera in there
    5. Not obviously a camera bag, and not too large

    I'm kinda a bag-freak. I have possibly way too many bags as it is, like a Wenger messenger bag (on offer in Tesco's if you have 10 vouchers... but too big for my requirements), various canvas rucksacks (too large), 'pleather' side satchels (too small, they fit a wallet/phone and basically that's it), laptop bags galore, even a WW2 gasmask bag, but nothing that would be perfect for an every day carry, fitting camera and any extra bits I need.

    The one I'm favouring at the moment is the Lowepro Passport Sling Shoulder Bag, which looks amazing (in theory). I can remove the camera insert (as my GF1 will be in its full case), and have a usable bag too. I love the way it looks, and how it opens out, although it has a bunch of things "wrong" with it... no zips/closures for the outside pockets, and not much in the way of inside pockets either, not to mention I'm not sure if it would take 'rectangular' items such as a tablet or book. I also wonder if, without the insert, it will lose any semblance of shape, and become some formless lump on your back/side.

    But yes, I ramble on! Any suggestions? I'm open to anything, colours don't matter (bright bright pink might be a tad too far, but if it's well designed, I'll run with it!)!:confused:
     
  2. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    My bag is a Maxpedition Jumbo Versipack for pretty much the exact reasons you describe:

    * not a camera-only bag - I carry a bunch of other stuff in there for daily use
    * lots of organization (pockets etc.)
    * extensible using add-on pockets and pouches (I use a dump pouch on one pocket, and a sheath for a multi-tool currently)
    * rides comfortably - actually shaped to mold onto the hip and padded
    * includes a strap that can be used as a belt to transfer weight to the hips rather than all riding on the shuolder. This is an absolute godsend when carrying the bag for extended periods.
    * extremely rugged construction - heck, it's even teflon and PU coated for water and stain resistance. I've carried one all over for months and it looks good as new.
    * fits my iPad like a glove in the back zippered pocket

    EDIT: Oh, and the water bottle holder on the side makes a great lens pouch if you don't carry a water bottle :)

    0412b_detail.


    The only downside using it as a camera bag is there's no insert as it's not designed for it. I've got a Domke insert coming that hopefully will solve that problem. I've also successfully used a couple of Tamrac lens cases or the original lens bags as protective sleeves. If the Domke doesn't work out, I'll probably just make a DIY solution.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Ritualnet

    Ritualnet Mu-43 Regular

    78
    Jun 21, 2012
    UK - West Midlands
    Seem
    I remember looking at that and the fatboy version a while ago, when I was reading into people's EDC and bug out bags (I find it fascinating that people will carry all this survival stuff, but I do see some aspects as being useful, i.e. carrying a med-kit and a small multi-tool), but it was (is) soooo expensive!

    I have a look to see if I can get one cheaper in Florida in Nov.

    Ah see! On ebay the one I like the look of (black/foliage), is $72, or £46. In the UK ebay, they are £80-ish.
     
  4. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    That's more than they cost here by quite a bit, I got my Maxpedition Jumbo for $66 IIRC (on sale, but still). There are some cheap clones of the Maxpedition Jumbo, but quite honestly you get what you pay for with Maxpedition.

    I have owned some of the cheaper knock off manufacturers' items and others I know have as well, and they definitely are not made to the indestructable standard Maxpedition is. I'm not exaggerating when I say after dragging a Maxpedition Jumbo all over the world and using as a daily carry bag, it still looks good as new - the only scuffs are on the plastic buckle :biggrin:
     
  5. Ritualnet

    Ritualnet Mu-43 Regular

    78
    Jun 21, 2012
    UK - West Midlands
    Seem
    Where do you store your camera then, if the iPad is in the back pocket? The only concern other than that is my Neo 2... It has a size of 315 x247 x45 mm... Will that fit in? It is my primary writing tool as I can't hand-write (even though I have so many lovely notebooks too!) And I want to carry it everywhere with me.

    Still I do like. I need to see who sells it in Florida, guessing the targets and wallmarts won't, and pick one up when we land.
     
  6. Segiy

    Segiy New to Mu-43

    6
    May 19, 2012
    I use a Mark VII gas mask bag for my OM-D, extra lens (could hold more), wallet, keys, iPad, and more.
    It's not got the best/any padding, but is the same bag that Indian Jones uses! even swapped out the heshen strap for a leather one, has just the right amount of compartments and space and is really well built.
     
  7. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    The zippered back pocket is where the iPad fits perfectly. It's behind the main compartment, so the iPad can go in there while the camera is in the large pocket that's covered with the flap. I'm not familiar with the Neo 2, but I don't think it would fit in the Jumbo... the iPad is an exact fit and the dimensions you listed would put the Neo 2 at quite a bit larger all around.

    And you're right, Target and Wal-Mart won't carry Maxpedition gear :tongue: You'd have to find a specialty store most likely by looking up a dealer on the Maxpedition website. Most people buy online since there aren't many stores that stock it.
     
  8. aroth87

    aroth87 Mu-43 Rookie

    17
    Jun 3, 2012
    Johnson County, KS
    I found an LL Bean messenger bag in a thrift store. I use it as my every day bag to carry my lunch and book as well as my keys, wallet, and phone. I bought a Domke insert to give my camera a little protection. I got the insert that comes in the F6 and I can fit my G3 and two lenses in it and still have half the main pocket available for whatever else I need to carry. The front pocket and main pocket both zip closed and have a flap with a metal clasp that covers them so its reasonably protected. Its also got a pocket on each end that will fit a Nikon SB-24 flash. The thrift stores and Army surplus stores around here have quite a good selection of cheap shoulder bags. Obviously you probably won't be able to walk into one at random and find exactly what you're looking for but if you keep your eyes open and are patient good deals will come your way.

    I paid more for the insert than I did for the bag but its pretty much cured the BAS (bag acquisition syndrome) that I used to struggle with. Not to step on any toes, but I would feel completely ridiculous carrying one of those Maxpedition things! I'm glad it works for you though!

    Adam
     
  9. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    That's ok, I'd feel ridiculous carrying most camera bags and messenger bags :biggrin:
     
  10. JJJPhoto

    JJJPhoto Mu-43 Veteran

    252
    Jul 8, 2011
    Cincinnati, OH
    Jerry Jackson Jr
    I also have one of those that I use with a Domke camera bag insert from one of my old Domke camera bags.

    This bag (and the cheaper knock-off version that seems to be pretty popular) are great compact camera bags. Sometimes I use the water bottle pouch for a water bottle and sometimes I just use it to hold one of my FL-50R flashes.

    I use this bag mostly on vacations or if I'm out shooting and don't want to carry a bigger bag. The only reason I don't use it as my "main" bag is that it's not big enough to hold my 14-inch laptop. I can, however, squeeze an iPad or an 11-inch netbook inside with my m4/3 gear.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Do you know which insert it is you're using by chance?

    I just ordered a Domke insert to try with mine but it hasn't arrived yet. I searched high and low for info on a compatible camera insert and all I could find was people saying they used a Domke bag insert with it, but not which one. I finally took a guess and ordered the one that looked closest in size.
     
  12. Ritualnet

    Ritualnet Mu-43 Regular

    78
    Jun 21, 2012
    UK - West Midlands
    Seem
    BAS. I like that. I definitely have that.

    I've looked at gas-mask bags before, I have a Swedish leather bottomed one, which I use as a dog-carry bag, to put all the dog stuff in on walks. That one does look nice, but it's just a shame I'm not much use with creating stuff... or I'd make a nice insert for that with a bit of padding and a few pockets.

    Are there thrift stores or army surplus stores in Florida? My partner's family live in Hunter's Creek, so if there are any, I'd love to hit them up for some bits and bobs.

    It might be an idea to drag all the stuff I'd want to take in a bag, and then go visit some shops. It's just... most of the bags I've seen are not hard wearing (i.e. with backpacks the straps are not sewed in decently). I do like the look of the leather satchels (say from River Island), but again, I want something hard wearing, that looks good.
     
  13. JJJPhoto

    JJJPhoto Mu-43 Veteran

    252
    Jul 8, 2011
    Cincinnati, OH
    Jerry Jackson Jr
    I just pulled out the insert but there's no label on it. I bought the original Domke about 6 or 7 years ago and it came with two inserts ... this was the smaller of the two inserts in my Domke bag and it fits perfectly in the other bag. The only thing about my Domke insert is that the bottom isn't padded (the Domke bag is padded so the insert just relies on the padding in the bag).

    Since the other bag isn't padded on the bottom I took a lens divider from one of my other camera bags and put that in the bottom to give the bottom some padding.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. applemint

    applemint Mu-43 Veteran

    345
    Jan 24, 2012


    1. I have an Osprey backpack which has a drybag type closure (roll twice over the fold and then do up the clips) - which eliminates that problem as you would certainly be aware of someone trying to open it. Any camera I put in there would just go in it's own camera bag and lens/es would go in a lens pouch or camera bag. Plenty of room for other stuff (jacket./fleece etc) and a bottle of water can go in the side pocket. Was £20 from Cotswold Outdoor shop (half price in a sale but a few years ago).

      Have considered a messenger type bag or a camera specific messenger (eg Acme Made one or Lowepro) but a backpack is a lot more comfortable and allows me to take lots of other (non camera) stuff and it's out of the way rather than hanging by my side. The downside of course is that it takes longer to get to the camera and taking it in and out frequently can be a hassle. The backpack is more for going from home to destination though (as I bus it or walk everywhere local) - then I tend to keep the camera out (on a wrist strap) when I get to where I am going.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Ritualnet

    Ritualnet Mu-43 Regular

    78
    Jun 21, 2012
    UK - West Midlands
    Seem
    Do you know which Osprey it is? They do a few on their site!

    I do like having my stuff on my side, as I freak out sometimes, and need to keep checking my bag is safe, however if this one is pretty secure then it might be a better option, as they are much more comfortable to carry!
     
  16. applemint

    applemint Mu-43 Veteran

    345
    Jan 24, 2012
    Osprey Aether 30 - but a quick Google search suggests they no longer make it?

    Not sure if Osprey or any other manufactures do a similar small (30 litres or less) roll top backpack..
     
  17. pheaukus

    pheaukus Mu-43 Regular

    178
    Jun 22, 2012



    Hermes messenger bag in black taurillon clemence leather

    IMG_1931-Hermes-James-bag-640w.

    Front flap cover with tab closure. Measures 14" x 11.5" x 4.5". Inside back zip pocket 7.3" x 12.2".
    Two interior pockets measure 5.7" x 5.7". Two exterior pockets measure 4.7" x 7" and 4.7" x 4".
    Strap adjustable to 25.5".

    $5,800.00

    add-to-cart-hover.
     
  18. dgt8301

    dgt8301 Mu-43 Rookie

    10
    May 18, 2012
    I'm assuming the Hermes suggestion is tongue in cheek? Either way though, if looks and general not-just-for-kit-purposes utility are the object (with room for an insert), how about this one? Considerably more handsome than the Hermes, methinks, and $5500-plus cheaper to boot!

    Happy hunting. Ah, the elusive Perfect Bag. Sigh.

    http://www.revolveclothing.com/DisplayProduct.jsp?product=KRAN-MY9
     
  19. dgt8301

    dgt8301 Mu-43 Rookie

    10
    May 18, 2012
    Woops. Make that $5300-plus cheaper. Long day. Math skills always the first thing to go. Referenced bag on sale at linked site for $480. Sorry bout that.
     
  20. applemint

    applemint Mu-43 Veteran

    345
    Jan 24, 2012
    I also considered a camera specific backpack - but most of the ones I saw did not allow extra space for other non camera stuff. eg: This sort of thing (from 7dayshop): 41xI7CzbE0L._SL500_AA300_.
    Plus it looks like you would have to lay it flat on the ground or a solid surface to be able to open it without the risk of stuff falling out.


    However I did come across this one, which is a sort of half and half arrangement:
    415L7rNhZDL._SL500_AA300_.
    E-volve P10_53 Expedition I Camera / Hiker: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics

    It does have zip closures though, so I guess there is the risk of someone opening it and nicking stuff while it's on your back. Personally I would think this would be fairly unlikely in somewhere like Edinburgh though - perhaps a different story in parts of London or abroad?

    By the way, it's cheaper bought direct from Tuff Luv as you can get 15% cashback and also if you add an item to your cart and proceed to checkout but not payment you will get an abandoned basket email a short while later with a 10% discount code valid for 24 hours. :wink: